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Understanding Figurative LanguageFrom Metaphor to Idioms$
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Sam Glucksberg

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195111095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195111095.001.0001

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Metaphor The Central Trope

Metaphor The Central Trope

(p.3) 1 Metaphor The Central Trope
Understanding Figurative Language

Sam Glucksberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter treats metaphor as a form of linguistic expression rather than as a form of conceptual representation. Metaphor as a form of substitution is critically analyzed and found wanting. Three other traditionally held assumptions are also critically examined: (1) literal meaning is basic and has unconditional priority; (2) figurative meaning is derivative from the literal; (3) metaphor understanding is more complex that literal understanding. These three assumptions are rejected on the basis of pragmatics as well as on theoretical and empirical considerations.

Keywords:   literal, conceptual representation, derivative, linguistic expression, substitution, pragmatics

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